The Polish LGBT+ community both at home and abroad are understandably concerned about the future following the election of Andrzej Duda as President. Duda ran on a deeply homophobic platform, so the likelihood of his election bringing more openly homophobic attitudes to the fore is high.
Since the election, Italian new site Gay.It reported on the arrest of LGBT+ activist, Małgorzata Szutowicz, where the police used “disproportionate force”. It is alleged that plain clothed officers in an unmarked car pulled Szutowicz from her house without identifying themselves or explaining the reason for her arrest.
Szutowicz should go to court in the next few days. The alleged reason given by an LGBT+ group for her arrest is her connection to an activist group called Stop Bzdurom – a collective to protest the rise of sovereign political parties. The site also reports that Szutowicz demonstrated against a van which drove around during the elections decorated with imagery that depicted LGBT+ people as paedophiles.
Following the election of Duda, Hubert Sobecki, the head of an Polish LGBT+ rights group shared in an interview with The Independent, “There’s always a price for this kind of narrative, and it’s not the politicians who are paying the price. It is us.”
Sobecki continued, “It’s a disaster. You can call it a humanitarian disaster, but that wouldn’t even bring you close to the scope of human suffering those people are inflicting on us as a community. They call us ‘ideology,’ but it’s not the ideology that is beaten up on the street.”
In more positive news, Polish courts have annulled two ‘LGBT free zones’, saying they violated the constitution. Last year, 30 regional assemblies in Poland declared themselves free of “LGBT+ ideology“, Poland’s commissioner for human rights, Adam Bodnar, filed complaints about these zones.
A provincial administrative court ruled that using the phrase LGBT+ ideology refers to LGBT+ people and as such is discrimination. Judge Krzysztof Wujek stated, “Ideology is always associated with people; the dictionary definition states that it is a system of ideas professed by individuals or groups of people.”
“Saying that it is an ideology, not people, is turning a blind eye to reality. It is harmful and strengthens a sense of threat against these people. These are the strongest arguments which made the court feel obliged to declare the resolution invalid.”
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